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Judge backs Apple in BlueMail's App Store antitrust case

BlueMail on the Mac

A key antitrust case against Apple and the App Store by BlueMail has been dismissed, potentially setting a precedent for the company's separate dispute with Epic Games.

As Apple remains in a legal dispute with Epic Games over "Fortnite," another lawsuit bringing specific claims about the App Store has been chiefly dismissed. Blix, the developer of BlueMail, alleged that Apple had first infringed on its patents with "Sign in With Apple," then just as with "Fortnite," removed its app from the App Store.

According to Bloomberg, Judge Leonard P. Stark of the US District Court for the District of Delaware dismissed the antitrust claims without prejudice. He reportedly concluded that Blix Inc had failed to provide evidence of Apple's monopoly or anticompetitive conduct.

Arguing that Apple having the power to restrict competition is not evidence that it did so, Judge Stark also said that Blix's own claims undermined its case. Reportedly, Blix had said in its filings that it had achieved success on multiple platforms and was on sale for five years before being on the App Store.

Judge Stark said this demonstrated that the App Store is not essential to BlueMail's success.

He also dismissed the claim of patent infringement. Citing a previous US Supreme Court ruling regarding the ability to patent an idea, Judge Stark said Blix's claim did not qualify as a unique and inventive concept.

Not all of BlueMail's claims were dismissed. However, Judge Stark declined to rule on them, instead directing Blix and Apple to confer. The two companies are now required to inform the court whether the remaining claims will be filed.

Previously, Blix co-founder Ben Volach said that he believed the slow court process worked in Apple's favor. Blix was looking to recruit other developers to mount a class-action suit against Apple.